US adoption fraud

The United States Government, through all three branches of government, has managed to legalize fraudulent and coercive adoption practices, in order to provide wealthier families with children, by violating the rights of parents and grandparents to raise the children.

For couples who wait until later in life to try to have children, in order to establish themselves in high paying careers, infertility often becomes a problem, and these wealthy individuals feel entitled to the children of poorer parents.   The USA government agrees with them. While these practices take place all over the USA, I am most familiar with abuses in the state of Kansas, and will provide information that primarily relates to that state.

Adoption fraud exists and is promoted by government in all areas of USA adoption.    In most states, fathers have no rights to prevent the adoption of their child.   When parental rights are severed, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members are not permitted to raise the child, if the child is of an adoptable age.   The states benefit financially from adopting children to unrelated parties, so they will not permit family members to have custody.   Mothers are coerced into signing adoption papers under duress, and without legal representation, from her hospital bed, under the influence of prescription narcotics just hours after giving birth.   Fraud and coercion is ignored by the courts, even when acts of fraud and coercion are not in dispute.

No agency will help family members of stolen children.  Police and other law enforcement agencies refuse to investigate adoption fraud, judges refuse to return babies to their families and refuse to reprimand attorneys who violate what few laws there are to protect families.   The legislators refuse to write laws that protect families from these practices and in fact only write laws that further restrict the rights of natural families in favor of adopting out as many children as possible.   When the highly publicized “Baby Jessica” resulted in the return of a baby to her family nearly a decade ago, legislators responded by writing laws that eliminated father’s rights to their children so that no baby would again be returned to a natural parent at the completion of a long court process.

President Bush has awarded millions of dollars in grants for the purpose of promoting adoption, and only one state, New York, has acknowledged the coercive and fraudulent adoption practices in private, agency and Child Protective Service adoptions.  The states are financially rewarded by the federal government for permitting fraudulent and coercive adoption practices.   The US Supreme court refuses to here adoption cases, agencies of all kinds refuse to get involved, high level judges will not return stolen children to family members, and adoptive parent judges are as frequently as possible put in charge of handling cases at district court level. 

 Parents are not guaranteed legal counsel if they cannot afford legal bills that often run between $20,000.00 and $100,000.00.    Only in CPS cases, are parents appointed an attorney, and it is common practice for their attorney to first meet the parents at the time of the hearing for severing their rights, with no preparation for the case at all.    Some attorneys refuse to put any effort into assisting their client because the state’s pay to court appointed attorneys is as low as 10% to 20% of the attorney’s usual pay per hour.  Others refuse to help the client because if they win the case, they will not get a future appointment as the State government who is paying them is also the opposing party in the case.

The latest tactic for coercing young mothers into signing a binding consent to adoption is through the use of a pre-birth consent and dual representation.   What young person who is inexperienced in legal matters would ever question her own lawyer’s dedication and honesty towards her.  This misguided trust is a powerful tool used to convince a young mother that she is legally bound to an adoption agreement before she actually is, ensuring her consent will be obtained for the binding relinquishment.

 Lawyers are not the only ones using this tactic.   Trusting you councilor is just as automatic as trusting your lawyer.   An expectant mother may spend weeks or months talking with her adoption councilor before giving birth.  She seems so sympathetic towards her fears and concerns and is dedicated to reassuring her and the expectant mother firmly believes it is her interest only that she cares about.   If an adoptive family is already chosen she will besharing with them vital information concerning the things she wants to hear so that they will know exactly what to say to her to ensure she does give them her baby.

For my daughter Angela (real names in this publication are not to be revealed - PRAVDA.RU), trusting an attorney in dual representation turned out to be the most heartbreaking mistake of her life.   It was just two weeks before her due date when she went to see a new doctor, unaware that the receptionist in that doctor’s office was on a mission to find a baby for her friend as soon as possible.  Prior to that day, Angela had never even considered the adoption of her child, but agreed to meet with the receptionist’s friend for supper after her appointment.  Pressure was applied to meet again the next evening with the potential adoptive couple’s lawyer.  

 The lawyer was friendly, and seemed caring, always smiling, laughing and comforting.   In no way did she appear threatening or dangerous or corruptly evil.   She offered to represent Angela, free of charge.   How much nicer could a lawyer be?    The first step was to get a pre-birth consent from both her and the baby’s father.   “This pre-birth consent does not commit you do the adoption plan,” she said.   It was only to be a non-binding form to show your intent to continue looking into the option of adoption with them.  The potential adoptive father did not want to risk getting his heart broken, and so until you are willing to sign something, to show intent, he would not agree to meet.  Seemed harmless enough, though a day was hardly long enough to give serious consideration to the idea.

 Arrangements were made for the signing the following Monday.  The meeting began with friendly small-talk and an explanation of the importance of continuing contact between mother and child in what was to be an open adoption with lots of visitation.   Once the papers were signed, suddenly the casual non-threatening talk turned to one of legal issues.  “We got the judge I wanted.  He is an adoptive father,” said the lawyer to the potential adoption mother.   Seemed innocent enough, but there was  more to come. 

 Angela’s lawyer started explaining that a pre-birth consent’s validity was up to the discretion of the judge in the event that either parent chose not to sign again 12 hours after birth.  This was said for reassurance of course.  It came across as, “don’t worry, if George doesn’t show up at the hospital to sign again, it doesn’t matter because a pre-birth consent is binding at the judge’s discretion and this judge does consider them binding.   Although her words were true to some degree, she failed to specify that this was only in regards to a father’s pre-birth consent to adoption.   The purpose was to ensure that Tarin and I believed that she was already legally bound to the adoption plan.   

 “You’ll have to sign again after birth, but if you try to change your mind it’s going to cost you a huge amount of money,” she said.  From there the conversation led into what the results would be if either party changed their mind.  “What if they change their mind,” Angela asked.    The lawyer responded, “then it will cost them a huge amount of money.”   It was explained to Angela that it would have to be settled in court and the party who changed her, or their minds would be responsible for the payment of everybody’s legal fees.  “I will have to withdraw and testify, so you will both have to find new attorney’s.”   

 After the friendly, but none-the-less threatening and deceitful discussion about the legal issues, the clincher was in returning to the discussion of visitation.   We were again reassured that they were looking forward to frequent visitation from Angela.   But the lawyer made sure she knew that if a conflict occurred and they had to go to court to adopt in a contested adoption, they could decide to close the adoption.   Without this concern, the other threats would have had little result.  After all, what was there to lose aside from money if she wanted to keep her baby.   Contact!   Knowing her baby and being a part of her life!   That was what she had to lose if she protested.

 A week later on December 28th, 1999, 8 lb. 5 oz, Jane was born, healthy and perfect.   Angela knew the moment she laid eyes on her sweet baby girl she could never stand to no longer be a part of her life.   She wanted to take her home.  She loved her with all her heart, like no love she had ever dreamed possible.   But she also knew that if she did not go through with the adoption, they would take her to court based on her pre-birth consent and that the judge was an adoptive father who considered pre-birth consents to be binding.   They would make her pay for everyone’s legal fees preventing her from being able to go to college in the fall, and also would never allow her to see her child again.   She was devastated. 

 At 12 hours after birth, the second relinquishment was to be signed.   By ten hours after birth, she was so distraught over the thought of the loss of her baby girl she could barely speak.     Out of fear of never seeing her daughter again, and with regular reassurances throughout the day from the adoptress that Tarin was welcome at their home any time, at 12 hours after Jane’s birth, she signed the paper and was shortly released from the hospital, falling apart in hysterical tears immediately upon stepping outside the hospital.

 The next morning, she begged me to call a lawyer and see if there was anything she could do to get her baby back.   I did, but the news was bad.  The lawyer said that once a consent is signed, 12 hours after birth, there was nothing you can do.   We went back to the hospital and told the adoptress that it was just too hard and that Angela wanted her baby back.   But she made it clear that was not going to happen.  Oh she was nice enough about it.  She reassured us that Angela should stop by every time she was in town and again encouraged her to come by each day during those first three weeks that she would be taking off of work, so they could get better acquainted.   Angela’s feeling were attributed to hormones.

 Knowing there was nothing to do, and so much to lose if she made any effort to contest, Angela accepted the visitation and tried to deal with the lose of her daughter.   Three weeks later, the adoptress told her that her husband had decided he was not comfortable with the visitation.    “If it were up to me, you could come by any time.  But he just isn’t comfortable with the idea.”   Angela would still be able to see her daughter on her birthday, and perhaps another time or two, and she would not cancel the visitation that was already scheduled for next week for her grandmother to meet little Jane, but other than that, visits would be few and far between if at all.   How could she trust that they would even allow her to see her on her birthday, after they had already lied to her about wanting frequent contact?    She knew she could not live with that, and the adoption would be final in two weeks.   She hired a lawyer to contest the adoption.

 Court was an experience that I still find impossible to believe.  We actually thought it was going well.  I was the first to testify.   While on the witness stand, I was shown a letter that was supposedly given to Angela at the first meeting.  It was suppose to have been written by the adopters’ adopted son’s natural grandparents.   I was asked to identify it.  I was familiar with the letter, but by the grace of God, in that one slight moment, my eyes went straight to one word 2/3 down the page.   The word, “Jarvis” had been inserted, where on the original letter no last name had been provided.  

The adoptress had told me their last name was “...” and had encouraged me to call them.  But she didn’t know their number and “they are very poor” she told me.   I wrote down their name and did try to call them later, but there was no “....” listed and so I assumed that because of poverty, they either did not have a phone or were unlisted due to irritating calls from creditors.   

 The judge then held in his hands, the altered version of that letter and the real letter that did not provide a name.   I had testified that this was not the real letter.  That the name we had been told was, “....”   The judge even pointed out that even the font was different.  This evidence had been altered for court.
 Depositions had been done earlier, and the lawyer had admitted that she had made a comment to Angela about the judge in the case being an adoptive father.   However, Angela’s lawyer did not view her statement as coercion, because it was a simple statement of fact, so he did not ask her that question again on the witness stand.   When Angela testified to this statement made by the attorney, the judge instantly doubted her credibility, pointing out how unlikely it was that such a statement had been made on December 20, when he had not been assigned to the case until the day after the baby was born on December 29th.    Again, we thought we had them.   Though the judge was unaware of this, and the attorney had been dismissed, if the adoptress did not admit the statement had been made, Angela’s attorney would be able to recall the attorney on rebuttal and ask the question again.   She would have no choice but to admit that she told Angela this about the judge, 9 days before there was a judge on the case.   To avoid additional related questions on the subject in rebuttal, the adoptress admitted the statement had in fact been made.

 The attorney had even admitted to making comments about a pre-birth consent being considered binding but pointed out that in her opinion, though never challenged in a court of law, a father’s pre-birth consent is binding, so the statement was true, thus not coercion.   It was not her fault Angela never asked if she was referring to all pre-birth consents or just a father’s pre-birth consent.     As Angela’s lawyer, it certainly seemed to us that she would have had the obligation to make that difference clear.

 The testimony got long and tedious, and difficult questions were asked that could have shown fraudulent and coercive behavior towards her client.    Disbarment was an obvious concern.    More than 60 times, she would not give a direct answer to questions asked of her.    She preceded every difficult answer with words that literally meant that the statement to follow, may or may not be accurate.    Again and again, she preceded her answers with, “I would have,”  “I might have,”  “I may have,”   “I probably,” and other phrases that protected her from perjury charges if it were later shown that the words that followed these phrases were inaccurate.    Her evasion of answers that specified what actually occurred was brought to the attention of the judge, who seems unconcerned by it. 

 At the time of the pre-birth consent signing, another form was also signed.   This form was for the purpose of approving the lawyer’s dual representation of both parties.   Angela was asked to sign page 3.   At the bottom of page three, the lawyer signed, just below a statement which stated that the adopters had already agreed to the same terms of this contract.   Page four was for their signature and consent to the terms, which included the fact that if a conflict developed, the attorney would withdraw and be called to testify against them.   Page four was not signed, but we assumed they had already signed another copy and did not question this at the time.   

 Though every witness for the adopters proved non-credible, though they were clearly caught at having altered evidence, though there was strong indication of manufactured evidence and though many coercive remarks were admitted to,  Angela lost in district court.   On appeal, the fact that the lawyer had evaded answering so many questions was brought to the attention of the appellate court, who ruled that in dual representation, once a conflict occurs, the attorney must withdraw from “ONE” but not both of her dual clients.   This left the adopters protected under attorney-client rules.

 We filed a complaint with the disciplinary administrator, because the lawyer had signed the statement stating that the adopters had agreed that she could testify against them, and yet no such signed agreement was turned over under subpoena  order.   This is fraud, if she claimed to have their signed consent in order to get Angela to agree to the terms, but in reality did not have their consent.    The lawyer admitted that she did not have their signed consent, but claimed that at the time she signed that paper, saying that they had agreed she could testify against them in the event of conflict, she did have it, but later lost it.    The disciplinary administrator saw this as a reasonable explanation for what occurred.

 Angela went on to the ... State Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court, both of which denied her petition for their review.   A rehearing request  was also denied by the United States Supreme Court.
  Judges have repeatedly ruled, as in this case, that duress is not to be considered as a reason for revoking a consent to adoption because all cases involve duress.    Fraud and coercion are ignored as reasons for revoking a consent even when legislative law permits those as a valid defense.   The fact that the mother is most often underthe influence of prescription narcotics at the time of the signing is not viewed as a reason for revoking consent to an adoption as long as 12 hours has elapsed since the birth of the child.

 In December, 2000, Jackie (not real name)gave birth to a baby girl.    She had considered adoption and had been seeing a counselor.   She had made it clear that she was unsure about the matter of adoption.   She had a difficult delivery and was placed on powerful prescription narcotics that are known to have numerous side effects, some of which affect the patients thinking abilities.  The Social Worker, who had been Jackie’s counselor, came to her hospital room approximately a dozen times, each time being sent away, as Jackie did not want to sign adoption papers.  The last time Jackie sent her away, the social worker contacted the notary to come for the signing and went back to Deanna’s room to take her consent anyway.    Jackie had been advised by this social worker to not allow her mother at the hospital, so with no protection from family members, and heavily sedated limiting her mental capacity, Jackie’s own Councilor pressured her to sign adoption papers while under the influence of prescription narcotics.

 The next morning, Jackie called both the adoptive mother and the counselor at Catholic Charities to beg for the return of her baby.  Both refused.    Under agency adoption law, a consent to adoption is not valid until the agency accepts the consent in writing, which was not done until 9 days later.    Even from a legal perspective, during those next 9 days they withheld her baby from her illegally. 

 The attorney who represented Catholic Charities when Deanna Willson contested the adoption in his brief to the appellate court, he again lied to the court, stating that the consent had been accepted in writing before the child was placed with the adoptive family as required by law.   The appellate acknowledged at the oral arguments hearing, in front of Television cameras, that this rule was violated, that Martin Bauer had instructed Catholic Charities to withhold Jackie’s baby from her in violation of this law and that Catholic Charities apparently makes their ownrules for adoptions rather than following the law.   Still they did not return her baby.   

The case has now been appealed to the Kansas State Supreme court.   Jackie is not permitted any visitation with her daughter during the court process.   This tactic is used to ensure that at the completion of a long court  battle the “best Interest of the Child” issue will always be in favor of the adoptive couple, because they have possession of the child and the natural parents have no contact with the child.

Jackie is not as poor as most of the victims of adoption coercion and fraud.   She was a doctorate degree in pharmacy medicine and works as a pharmacist, but is young enough that she had not been out of school for many years and has student loans to repay and has not had time enough to save enough money for ongoing legal representation after her district court hearing.   She had to handle her own appeals without the assistance of an attorney because of inability to pay a second retainer fee to an appeal lawyer after exhausting her financial resources on the lawyer who handled the district court hearing.    In the Matter of the Adoption a 17 year old mother contested the adoption of her child.    Kansas law required independent legal representation for a mother who is under the age of 18, but not for a mother who is 18 or over.    In this case, the attorney who was handling the case was paid by the adoptive couple and was representing both parties, a practice that ensures the natural parents do not get competent legal representation.    The mother and father had a meeting set up with their lawyer to discuss a contract for future contact with the child in the event that an adoption was entered into.   Realizing that dual representation for a minor natural parent could result in giving the parents grounds for contesting the adoption, instead of having the meeting that was scheduled for the purpose that was intended, the lawyer, without discussing the matter with the natural parents, arranged to have another lawyer from the same building attend to take over as legal representation for the natural parents, and to make the meeting for the purpose of signing an adoption consent, rather than for a discussion of future visitation.  

The parents of the young couple were not present for this meeting because they did not know the intent of the attorney to pressure the couple to sign adoption papers and to cover the fact that dual representation was illegal used in this case.    The district court, appellate court, and Kansas supreme court all refused to return the baby even though the dual representation law as it relates to minor parents was broken and despite the fact that while still representing the natural parents, the attorney deceived the couple concerning the purpose of this meeting in order to get them couple into his office to sign a consent to adoption that was not intended to occur at this meeting.  

On March 8, 2002, the State Supreme court upheld the decision of the appellate court to terminate the rights of a natural father in the case of “In the matter of the adoption of baby Girl S,. a Minor child. The natural father did not consent to the adoption of his child.  In Kansas fathers have no legal claim to their child if the mother consents to an adoption unless they were financially supporting the child during the last 6 months of the pregnancy.   Even if the father offers support to the mother, who refuses to accept it, or if the father is not notified of the pregnancy, his rights are eliminated if he was not actively supporting the mother during the pregnancy.  

The trail court concluded that the father in this case had tried to support the mother during pregnancy, but the mother blocked his efforts to support her.   Though the trial court ordered the child to be awarded to his father, the adoptive parents appealed and won on appeal, with the upper courts ruling that because he did not support her during pregnancy, he had no claims to the baby, despite his efforts to provide support.   The law cited in this case which terminates parental rights of a father who was not supporting the mother during pregnancy was K.S.A. 59-2136(h)(4).  

In many of the 50 states, fathers have no legal rights to the child if the mother consents to an adoption.  In the case of Jackie, mentioned early, the natural father never consented to an adoption.   After Jackie contested the adoption, ... arranged for a hearing to terminate the father’s rights though he was refusing to sign adoption papers.    The father was notified of the hearing and warned by ...   not to show up for the hearing or  he would be dragged into a several year long court battle that would cost him ten’s of thousands of dollars.   The father was a college student and was not able to afford the legal fees.  His parental rights were severed without his consent. 

In the case ... a baby was born to mentally incompetent parents.   The natural grandparents wished to raise the child, but the State Social rehabilitation Services, commonly known in most states as child Protective Services, (CPS), wished to adopt out the child to unrelated persons.   In 1997, federal adoption incentive bonuses were established which pay the state governments money to increase the number of adoption which occur in their state each year.   This financial motivation has caused SRS to grant adoptions to unrelated parties in cases where parental rights are severed, even when fit and loving family members attempt to gain custody of the child.    This case is just one of many examples of grandparents being denied custody of their grandchildren when parents are unable to raise the child.    Though the grandparents initially won this case, the appellate court referred it back to retrial, allowing the potential adoptive family to retain custody and to improve their “best Interest” defense by increasing the length of time the child is in their care before a final decision is made.

Normally, because all examples of case law establish that family members should not be given custody, the district court judges deny the petitions of the natural family in favor of adoption.   However, sometimes, in cases such as this one, the district court judge denies the adoption in favor of natural family members.  When this occurs and the case is appealed, the appellate court either reverses the decision or makes the parties start over at a new district  court while permitting the non-related adoptive parents to retain custody to increase their claims of “best interest” due to the time in the potential adoptive home.   This action is financially motivated, as it results in more adoption incentive bonuses being paid to the state.

Mary lost her child to a coercive adoption in the summer of 1999.   Because a judge owned the agency that stole her daughter, she could not find a lawyer who would represent her in court, and so she had to represent herself in her hearing toattempt to revoke consent to the adoption of her child.   She had serious medical problems during delivery which created extreme impairment  and duress, which the adoption agency personnel took advantage of in order to gain access to her child for the purpose of selling her child to the adoptive couple.

Though the cases above are all from one state of the USA, most of the US states have similar problems and for the same reasons.   

Debbie fought for the return of her child through the courts, but though the district court judge was instructed by a higher court to reconsider some issues, the judge, an adoptive parent, refused to return the baby.  This occurred only 5 years ago.  Debbie has submitted specific information concerning her case to the office of the special rapporteur on the sale of children, and a personal time line of events from Sharon has been attached.

Most of these cases involve the fraudulent adoption of healthy white infants who will sell for an average of $35,000.00 each and in many cases, adoptive families have been known to pay even more.   In the baby Spencer case which was reported by Reader’s Digest, a case where a father did not consent to the adoption, the adoptive family spent over $250,000.00 to be able to adopt Spencer without his father’s consent.

 Utah has so many fraudulent adoption cases involving CPS that a class action suit has been brought against the state in federal court.   But considering it is the federal government which promotes fraudulent adoption practices and rewards the states for this action, it is unlikely that these victims will receive any justice.  Private adoptions are no less fraudulent in Utah.   One young woman named ..., who has already submitted her case history separately to the office of the special Rapporteur on the sale of children, lost two of her four children to fraudulent and coercive private adoption practices despite the efforts of her doctor to protect her.   Her personally told story is attached to this submission.

A Nebraska father followed all the rules of his state to contest the adoption of his daughter.  He notified all parties within 5 days of the child’s birth, and filed the official court papers within the required 30 days.  Because his lawyer accidentally filed the papers with the wrong court clerk, the court refused to hear his case and granted the adoption without his consent.   He took his case all the way to the US Supreme court but was denied a review just a few weeks ago.

The baby Sam case has gained a lot of media attention.  The father was told his child died at birth.  Upon discovering that was a lie eleven weeks later, he contested the adoption.  Even though he won the case, allowing him to keep his name on the baby’s birth certificate, the adoptive family gets to raise the child because they dragged the court case out for six long year.   They can not adopt the child, but they get to raise him and the father and mother have to pay them monthly child support payments because the adoption will never be finalized.  The father gets four supervised visitations per year.  This case finally drew to an end only last month.

I provided approximately 1000 pages of evidence on Angela’s case to the office of the Special Rapporteur on the Sale of children, as well as numerous other forms of documentation to show the frequency of these abuses towards families in the USA.   I would be happy to provide additional information to assist you.   I have first hand information concerning numerous people who have also sent in information to the United Nations, Human rights commission.   I’m sure that everyone who has provided information would be eager to assist you in this matter in any way possible.

Citizens of the United States of America, desperately need to help of the United Nations.  We have no where to turn for help within our own country.  All branches of government promote fraudulent adoptions in order to remove children from poorer families and place them in wealthier homes.     The poor are required to provide children to those who waited too long in life to have their own children because they gave priority to advancing their careers.  As you can see by many of these cases, you don’t have to be financially destitute to fall prey to these baby thieves.   Anyone who is viewed as unlikely to be able to afford a competent attorney for a long legal battle is apt to fall victim.

Melinda Walmsley

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Author`s name Andrey Mikhailov